How To Cure Dropsy In Angelfish (5 Tell-Tale Signs}

Do you notice your angelfish growing big abnormally? When researching how to cure dropsy in Angelfish, I faced the problem myself.

Was dropsy was leading to further health complications for my angelfish?

This article outlines my experience with angelfish dropsy with helpful research from experts along the way.

How To Cure Dropsy In Angelfish

When curing your angelfish of dropsy:

  1. You need to do is to quarantine the affected fish.
  2. Make sure the water and the tank are always clean by performing a regular water change.
  3. Then add salt to the tank in the right proportion while feeding your fish with healthy food.

Allow me to explain the details with this process below.

 Your Angelfish Has Dropsy

When your angelfish has dropsy, they will exhibit some signs. These signs serve as a way your fish tells you it is not feeling okay.

As an aquarist, you have to be on the lookout for these signs to ensure your angelfish is in good health.

Signs Your Angelfish Has Dropsy

  1. Swollen belly
  2. Bulging eyes
  3. Swollen anus
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. Redness of skin and fins

1. Swollen belly

This is the most evident symptom of dropsy. You will notice the belly of your angelfish becoming bigger as the condition becomes more complicated. The swollen belly is often the most pronounced symptom in the condition’s early stage, so you should start the treatment immediately.

2. Bulging eyes

Dropsy is a condition whereby the body of the fish stores fluid, so you should expect several parts of your fish to get swollen. You will notice your angelfish starts to develop bulging eyes. The eyes become big and irritated.

3. Swollen anus

Another symptom of dropsy in fish is the swollen anus. You will start to notice the anus of your angelfish becoming red and swollen. The fish will also begin to experience difficulty in releasing waste.

4. Loss of appetite

A condition that accompanies dropsy is loss of appetite. Your fish stops and refuses to eat. It becomes uncomfortable and inconvenient with its condition.

5. Redness of skin and fins

It is not uncommon to see your angelfish with red skin and fins when it has dropsy. It is one of the most common symptoms of dropsy. You will notice your fish developing red skins and fins as the condition progresses.

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How Do You Treat Dropsy in Angelfish?

Treating dropsy in fish can be quite a task as it is not easily cured. It requires you to take a series of steps while consistently administering medications. Here are steps to follow when treating angelfish of dropsy:

Step 1

  • The first thing you need to do is to quarantine the affected fish. Remove the fish from the tank and place it in a hospital tank. It will prevent other fish from contacting dropsy and also allow you to focus treatment on the fish.

Step 2

  • Ensure the water in the tank is clean. The cause of dropsy is sometimes accompanied by dirty and unhealthy water. You have to make sure the water is clean and perform regular water changes.

Step 3:

  • Add salt to the water in the tank. Add a teaspoon of salt for every gallon of water. Excess salt can harm your fish, so you need to make sure the salt is in the right proportion.

Step 4:

  •  Treat your angelfish with antibiotics. You can either add antibiotics to the fish food or put it in the water. The antibiotics will help boost the recovery process of your angelfish.

Aside from carrying out the above steps, there are other things you need to ensure when treating your angelfish of dropsy.

You have to:

  • test the water in the tank every day to ensure the water is appropriate for your angelfish.
  • watch the food you give to your food.

The food should be healthy and safe for your fish consumption. You also have to feed the fish the exact quantity it needs to avoid overfeeding.

If you feel you should replenish the water with salt and antibiotics, you should do it carefully.

Is Dropsy in Angelfish Contagious?

  • Dropsy is usually a symptom of an underlying sickness and not a disease itself.
  • Several diseases have dropsy as their symptoms, and they might or might not be contagious.
  • It is normal practice to remove the affected fish from the tank and quarantine.
  • Leaving the affected fish in the tank is a risk to the life of other fish in the tank.
  • Separating the fish also gives you the ability to focus on the fish for deserved treatment.
  • Dropsy itself might not be typically contagious, but its disease can.

Is Dropsy Fatal for Angelfish?

Dropsy can be fatal for your angelfish. Once your fish is dropsy, it can be very difficult to restore it to its normal health. Sometimes, euthanasia can be the only choice you have for your angelfish.

The best action against dropsy is prevention. Even if you immediately notice the symptoms, you might still not be able to save your fish. One treatment is taking too long, and you do not see any changes; you might have to resort to euthanizing your fish.

The best way to prevent dropsy is to:

  • keep clean and healthy water for your fish.
  • create a stress-free environment for your angelfish
  • make sure your fish is always in good condition as prevention is always better than cure.

Peradventure you fail in preventing and treating the disease, you should not keep your fish in pain and agony. You should euthanize the fish and do this most humanely. If you don’t want to lose your fish, then do a good job in preventing dropsy.


Dropsy is a fatal condition you don’t want your angelfish to experience. You have to start treating your fish immediately after you notice the symptoms. But you should prevent the diseases rather than fight for your fish’s life.


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John Brandon

John has kept fish all his life (since he was about 5). He started with keeping guppies and fell in love with fish keeping almost straight away. That was 40 odd years ago. These days John still keeps fish and currently has two large tanks where he keeps many different types of fish such as Angelfish, Neon Tetras, Goldfish, Guppies and many more.